House Bill 126, 42nd Legislature, Regular Session. Chapter 8. Approved and effective 30 Jan 1931 as Robert E. Lee's Birthday. Senate Bill 60, 63rd Legislature, Regular Session. Chapter 221. Approved 1 Jun 1973 and effective 27 Aug 1973 as Confederate Heroes Day. This bill deleted June 3rd as a holiday for Jefferson Davis' birthday and combined the two into Confederate Heroes Day.
Why do we remember?Written/edited by James Dark of Arlington, TexasWe have a duty to God, given to us in the Ten Commandments, to honor our fathers. By logical extension, this would seem to apply to all of our forebears. Those who revel in the heritage and history of their ancestors are justifiably proud of their great-great-grandfathers participation in the greatest conflict our nation has ever fought. Why should I be inclined to sit idly by when someone suggests that my ancestor, who was dirt-poor farmer from the Ozarks in Arkansas, fought to preserve slavery? What should I do about that vein that pops out in my forehead when someone suggests that he was a traitor? The answer is to learn and to educate. The fact is that no Confederate leader was tried for treason, much less convicted. When a trial was contemplated for Jefferson Davis, Supreme Court Chief Justice Salmon Chase advised strongly against. He knew that Davis's defense was center around the constitutionality of secession. Chase, in a letter to President Andrew Johnson said, "The war was fought to determine that secession was illegal. Let it remain illegal." Jefferson Davis was released from his dungeon prison shortly thereafter. This passage probably best sums up our reverence for our Confederate ancestors.
"The Confederate soldiers were our kinfolk and our heroes. We testify to the country our enduring fidelity to their memory. We commemorate their valor and devotion. There were some things that were not surrendered at Appomattox. We did not surrender our rights in history, nor was it one of the conditions of surrender that unfriendly lips should be suffered to tell the story of that war or that unfriendly hands should write the epitaphs of the Confederate dead. We have a right to teach our children the true history of that war, the causes that led up to it, and the principles involved." Senator Edward W. Carmack, 1903